Liberals Cry “Moscow!” and Rightbloggers “Chicago!” as Russian Trolling Meets the Old Ooga Booga
Russian dolls in the likeness of Russia's president Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in a souvenir shop
Photo by Mikhail Pochuyev\TASS via Getty Images
The publicity war between left and right became a tale of two cities last week, as liberals (in an unusual alliance with the FBI and the CIA) decried the baleful influence of Moscow on the late presidential election, while conservatives used a hate crime in Chicago to stir race war terror.
On Friday the office of the director of U.S. intelligence issued a report claiming that Russia had as suspected been conducting psyops on behalf of The Leader’s election, and that these were not freelance efforts but had been ordered by Vladimir Putin himself.
The Leader’s links to Russia, and to the mischief-makers who do his/their will, have long been so obvious that not even his supporters bother to refute them anymore. (As for The Leader himself, he responded to the revelations by threatening to have Congress "investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it," and called his opponents "fools" like a mad scientist in a Golden Age comic book.)
The smarter rightbloggers leaned on the thinness of the six-page DNI report and its evidence. The less-smart ones did the usual pratfalls.
At Independent Journal Review, for example, Kyle Becker claimed to detect a "major flaw" in the report: "We can only make one clear conclusion from this statement: The Russians had a 'preference' for Donald Trump, because he was not Hillary Clinton…indeed, any Republican might have been preferred. It is unclear."
So Putin wasn’t necessarily supporting The Leader; he just wanted Clinton to lose because she was defending American interests against his and also: Hillary, what a bitch, right? Steven Hayward of Power Line could relate: "More likely," said Hayward, "Putin’s goons were merely celebrating — even as most Never Trumpers did — the schadenfreudtastic spectacle of Hillary losing, and the chaotic potential it might augur." See, the GOP and the NKVD can find common ground.
Another hot strategy was victim-blaming. "There are no modern precedents to the scandalous attempts to smear and undermine the president-elect," gasped Michael Goodwin at the New York Post, who claimed Democrats were pursuing a "witch hunt" and "voter-nullification plot" against The Leader, into which they had managed to "recruit" the CIA and the FBI. (James Comey must have been a tough sell.) Democrats also "aim to deny confirmation to as many as eight Cabinet picks," he said. Imagine, challenging cabinet nominees. What’s next, blocking a Supreme Court nomination until The Leader is out of office?
Goodwin brushed away the running "dog's stew of innuendo and anecdotes," but admitted that "America needs better cybersecurity and a retaliation policy to act as a deterrent," adding that since Obama "has no interest in the issue…perhaps we’ll get better policies when we get a new president." I assume this was meant as an inside joke, or else as a coded message to Boris back at the home office.
Hugh Hewitt actually surprised me with his inventiveness: "What if," he asked, “President-elect Donald Trump is playing the Russians and Vladimir Putin as effectively as he played the U.S. media throughout 2015 and 2016?"
While you stupid libtards and everyone else hold the "probably unbendable assumption… that [The Leader] just doesn’t know much about many aspects of national security," said Hewitt, you and everyone else theoretically have it all wrong because "Trump is, first and foremost, a developer," and — stay with him, now — "to be a successful real estate developer is to commit to speed and risk, and to always be looking for the next deal. It sometimes means a dizzying change of course and often a partnership with an old competitor, even one with whom swords had been crossed." Well, sure, look at Barbaros Murato?lu, the Leader’s frontman in Turkey — Erdo?an recently threw him in jail, but perhaps this was The Leader's plan all along.
Rightbloggers who wanted focus shifted from Moscow got a chance to spin the camera on Chicago, where last week four black people were charged with torturing a developmentally-disabled white man while yelling "Fuck Trump" and "Fuck white people" at him and taking video of the assault.
This crime excited conservatives’ literary efforts for reasons readers who are familiar with their longtime devotion to the Old Ooga-Booga will recognize: a fresh chance to feed the tantalizing race-war fantasies that keep other whites scared enough to vote Republican.
"KIDNAPPED TRUMP SUPPORTER TORTURED BY CHICAGO THUGS," screamed Regated. "Black Chicago Thugs in Facebook Live Beating Charged with Hate Crimes (VIDEO)" howled American Power. "Four Chicago Thugs Arrested," "Group of Black Thugs Attack White Chicago Man," "another group of young Chicago thugs are under arrest," "despicable video of four black thugs," etc.
Some conservatives were not satisfied with the simple repetition of keywords and tried to tie the crime to Black Lives Matter, though no actual link to the protest organization has at this writing been found, through means of a hashtag — e.g., "I'm certain if they weren't in jail Obama would invite the #BLMKidnapping terrorists to the White House. #WorstPresidentEver."
"This is exactly what Black Lives Matter stands for," wrote Matthew Vadum at American Thinker. He offered what he seemed to consider proof points ("At their marches, they carry signs reading, 'End White Supremacy' "), though none of them established a connection, nor did they explain why BLM would bother organizing marches at all when they could just kidnap and torture white people to the same effect, which must be easier.
One of the brethren tried reverse psychology: "PAUL JOSEPH WATSON EXPOSES Lunacy Of Leftists Who Try To Separate Black Lives Matter From Kidnapping, Torture Of White Disabled Teen By 4 Black Thugs [VIDEO]." Can you prove there isn’t a connection? Via similar logic, the crime was also linked to opposition to The Leader in general, e.g. "Four young supporters of Barack Obama wanted to show the world what the Democrat Party stands for, so they kidnapped a mentally disabled young white man...."
There were also charges of a media cover-up. "Folks in Big Media may decide that a white victim of Donald Trump doesn’t deserve any sympathy, and give the story a pass," RedState said. “Chicago torture” at this writing returns 525,000 results results on Google News.
Behind all this was the usual stark fear of Those People. "We are right at the edge of a terrible period — which I know President-elect Donald Trump wants to avoid — of having a deep bitter division in the communities in a way that makes America very hard to govern," bullshat Newt Gingrich. Sarah Palin dished fresh word salad containing the incident, Colin Kaepernick, and some croutons.
The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher relayed, in one of his famous alleged reader comments: "Any sane, reasonable white person that watches this video will want to move out of a neighborhood that has a large young, black population, and fast. I know I would." "I think this is obviously true," replied Dreher as himself, "but not at all obvious to liberals, especially in the media, who cannot seem to understand this dynamic except in terms of racial prejudice." That’s why them sissy liberals live with them black people — they don’t know how dangerous they can be!
Some invited readers to join them in dreams of vicarious retributive violence. "Yes, It’s Perfectly Cool To Shoot Kidnappers In The Face,” wrote Bob Owens of Bearing Arms. "…The final option is to shoot these fools in the face, because some fools just need shot. While I would never encourage or condone vigilante behavior or extrajudicial retribution," etc.
Owens also lashed out at "entertainers who validate and condone violence." Also very concerned about music black people listen to was David French of National Review. After raving awhile about Obama and Chicago in the traditional manner, French condemned "outlets such as Buzzfeed" that "write fawning articles about hip-hop celebrities who write and produce some of the most vile music imaginable. It’s all part of underlying liberal squeamishness about attacking anything that can be labeled authentically 'black.' Music 'from the streets' is worshipped, no matter its content.…"
Though there was nothing in French’s column about pulling one’s pants up — I assume it was cut for space — he did also yell about "anti-police activists…decrying 'disproportionate' stops and 'disproportionate' shootings," which comports with The Leader’s philosophy on urban policing, though not with the experience of cities like New York.
Inevitably, some of the brethren couldn’t restrain themselves. "One of the most painful realizations for the Baby Boomer generation is the failure of the Civil Rights Movement, and the increasing evidence that those evil, very bad, horrible segregationists were right all along," said Vox Day. Hey, he’s just saying what other conservatives are thinking, only in plainer language — just like the guys at Stormfront ("Another Ignorant Negress Denies Chicago Torture is a Hate Crime").
In the politically-incorrect Time of The Leader, surely we can dispense with the dog whistles and get right to the overt racism. A few years ago Jeff Sessions couldn’t even be a federal judge, and now he’s going to be Attorney General. And if we really are, as Gingrich said, right at the edge of a terrible period — or if conservatives can just convince enough people that we are — maybe Putin can help out with some public-order tips, one Leader to another.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.